Upon Further Review 2010: Defense vs Notre Dame

Submitted by Brian on September 15th, 2010 at 3:12 PM

Formation notes: there are none. The "formation" column in this week's UFR has set a record for boringness that will never be topped: every single row says "3-3-5 stack." So, yeah… it's a stack.

Substitution notes: Michigan started the game with Craig Roh at defensive end with the Sagesse/Banks platoon on the bench. They brought in Herron to be the SLB. When Herron got hurt they moved Roh back to LB and brought in Bangesse. Kevin Leach got a few drives at spur, and Adam Patterson came in for Martin occasionally. That's it as far as substitutions.

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O29 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Run Jet sweep Roh 3 + 15 pen
Michigan shifts the LBs away from the direction of the sweep because of the trips alignment and does not react quickly enough to the motion to adjust, so it's basically Roh on the edge 2-on-1 vs the left tackle and RB Allen. Roh gets outside the tackle, gives ground when Allen comes to hit him, and fights through the block to get a diving tackle attempt at the sideline that forces Allen out after about four(+1 Roh). Kovacs(-2) comes up well late and picks up a dumb personal foul.
O47 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 stack Pass 4 Hitch Van Bergen Inc
This looks like four verticals to me, with the outside receiver on the trips side sitting down at about the first down marker since he's super open; T. Gordon ran into the #2 WR on his zone drop; can't tell if he got rubbed or if he was just bashing the guy intentionally. Crist fires but RVB(+1) bats it down (pressure +1, cover -1). Martin was coming through the line and threatened to sack; kind of looks like Stewart's got his hand around him but not flagworthy.
O47 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 stack Run Zone stretch Martin -1
WR motions in to act as an H-back and ND runs what seems like a zone without doubling either Martin or Roh. Both of them(+1 each) tear through their blockers, forcing Allen to cut back, where Mouton(+1) has read the disruption in the play and shoots past blockers with no angle on him to tackle for loss.
O46 3 11 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 5 Skinny post Floyd 15
Michigan sends five; ND has three guys on deeper routes and one guy curling underneath the coverage. Roh(+0.5) is spinning into Crist's face as he throws and the pass is bullet to Rudolph at the sticks; Floyd(-0.5) is right there but Rudolph has his body between him and the ball and all he can do is tackle. I really question what Mouton's doing here, as he's in a very short zone and starts a delayed contain blitz late; if he drops to around the first down marker this throw isn't open and ND probably has to exit the field. (RPS-1.) I think it's the call, not the player.
M39 1 10 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 stack Pass 4 Tunnel screen Van Bergen 2
Zone blitz sends all three LBs and drops off the DEs, which puts Van Bergen right in the path of this play; T. Gordon(+1) has also zipped by Rudolph before he can get a block and C. Gordon is coming down to fill the outside lane. Screen has nowhere to go. (RPS+1)
M37 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run Zone read keeper Van Bergen 19
This is more of the midline stuff Oregon runs where they read an DT or DT-like substance and block the outside guy; RVB(-2) tears off after a zone play that Martin(+1) is going to crush at the line for nothing, opening up a huge hole for Crist. Mouton is doubled and has no chance, and Ezeh(-1) doesn't ever realize Crist has the ball, chasing Allen until it's way too late. This means there's so much room that all CGordon can do is funnel Crist to Kovacs, the last guy.
M18 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Corner Martin/Rogers Inc
Martin(+2) tears through a double, even sort of a triple, team and is in the backfield, forcing Crist to throw as he slips at his feet. Crist's ball is a pop-up that James Rogers(+1) reads and attacks for the PBU (Pressure +2, cover +1)
M18 2 10 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Tunnel screen Mouton 6
Martin drops off to spy as they bring Gordon around the edge; it's a screen. Mouton's the primary linebacker out there; he slips to the ground and then is tackled by an OL; no call. Blatant hold. Martin's leapt over a cut block and Allen decides to head outside, where C. Gordon(+1) fills capably, tackling with help from Rogers. Unfortunate slip and the holding give ND the yards.
M12 3 4 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 stack Pass 4 Scramble Mouton 12 (pen - 0)
Zone blitz sends the OLBs and drops Martin and Ezeh, getting Mouton(-1) a free run at Crist (RPS+1), which he whiffs. Roh then comes off his blocker and forces a scrambling Crist back inside, where Mouton can't run him down from behind; neither can NT Martin, understandably. Crist scores but Allen is called for a block in the back for shoving Rogers, though he totally does the "I didn't do it" hand signal afterwards.
M12 3 4 Shotgun 4-wide bunch 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Flat Kovacs 5
Guh: drop eight guys into coverage and don't have anyone in the flat; Kovacs has to run out from his spot just outside of Roh, where he manages to tackle Rudolph but not in time. (Cover -1, RPS -1)
M7 1 G Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 stack Run Down G Kovacs 1
Banks is blocked down and out of the play as the left side of the line pulls around against Kovacs and Mouton. Kovacs(+2) fends off a block from the RT, sheds to the outside, and tackles. Stewart is literally grabbing Martin's(+0.5) legs as he tries to pursue here, but his nimbleness on what looked like a stunt cut off any backside cut.
M5 2 G Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 5 TE Out Rogers 6
This is probably where Crist got concussed, as T. Gordon(+1) tears off the corner on this half roll and bashes him just as he throws (pressure +1); Rudolph catches it at around the five and should be stopped there except for Rogers(-1, tackling -1) completely whiffing on the tackle. After a lengthy review it's put at the four inch line.
M1 3 G Goal line Goal line Run QB sneak ? 1
They get it.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 0-7, 11 min 1st Q. This wasn't actually as bad as I remembered. Penalty hurt, the coverage was pretty decent, the main issue was the weird zone from Mouton on third and long and RVB crashing down on the keeper.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O24 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run Zone stretch Martin 1
Rees in. Replica of the stretch from the previous drive; Martin(+1) gets playside of the guard and cuts off the B gap, forcing Wood outside. Roh set up outside well but then tried to dive back inside and got plowed back for his trouble; no minus because he did hold the edge long enough for Kovacs(+1, tackling +1) to charge downhill and meet Wood at the LOS. Also the Irish LT has his hands outside Roh's shoulder pads but whateva.
O25 2 9 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Flea flicker Mouton Int
Linebackers do bite, but then get back in their drops. Mouton(+3) does an impressive job to get 15 yards deep, get into the passing lane, and intercept. Martin(+0.5) was flying in, forcing the bad decision. (Cover +2, pressure +1)
Drive Notes: Interception, 0-7, 8 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O19 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Hitch ? Inc
Leach in at spur. Drop eight and just wait for Martin to get there, which he does, eventually. Rees can't find anything serious (cover +1) beforehand and fires it to a four-yard outlet. The pass is crappy and dropped.
O19 2 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Run Zone stretch Roh -6
Roh(+3) splits a double team, shooting into the backfield and making a TFL all on his own. Best play of his career to date. Brandon Graham-worthy. Martin(+1) had also torn through the line and was there to help if necessary.
O13 3 16 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Run TGDCD Mouton 10
[That God Damned Counter Draw.] Pretty much a give-up-and-punt. Michigan is rushing three and drops the linebackers off, which makes for a dodgy moment before Mouton(+0.5) comes up and cracks the OL leading the play, causing Wood to slow and allowing several Wolverines to converge on him short of the sticks.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 6 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O21 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run Down G Ezeh 0
Montana in. Martin(+1) blows the C back, preventing him from releasing and forcing the backside G to run into him, taking out two blockers. This allows an unblocked Ezeh(+1) to read, scrape, and tackle with help from Kovacs and Mouton(+1), who powered through a block to finish the play with Ezeh.
O21 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 TE Out Roh Inc
ND using a slide protection so Roh(+1) comes around the backside right in the throwing lane and leaps to bat down Montana's pass. (Pressure +1.) Likely catch and immediate tackle after six otherwise.
O21 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run Zone read keeper Gordon 7
Van Bergen(-1) is more disciplined this time but still bites on the handoff after forming up on the QB, paving the way for this gain. CGordon(+1) comes up with an authoritative fill and tackle(+1) to bring this up short.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 3 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O26 1 10 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Tunnel screen Herron Inc
Zone blitz gets Herron(+1) in unblocked (RPS+1, pressure +1) as Martin drops off into a zone. Play is a tunnel screen so having Martin there will be useful, but it doesn't matter since Herron bats it down.
O26 2 10 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 stack Run QB draw ? 10
Exact same blitz, so Martin is running away from the big damn hole in the line and Herron is running right past Montana through no fault of his own. Floyd gets away with a quasi block in the back but it's the difference between seven and ten. RPS-1.
O36 1 10 I-Form Big 3-3-5 stack Run Power off tackle Ezeh 3
Ezeh(+1) is probably blitzing but even so he darts into the gap that opens up as the OL down blocks Martin and Roh, picking off the pulling guard and bashing him into Allen, slowing everything down and filling the hole. Allen cuts behind; Mouton(+0.5) and Kovacs(+0.5) rally to tackle, with Mouton getting held or he might have been able to tackle for no gain.
O39 2 7 I-Form Big 3-3-5 stack Run Off tackle Roh 0
No pulling, just blocking down the line and using Hughes as a FB to get the edge. Roh(+1) slashes past a blocker and threatens to tackle, forcing Allen further outside than he wants to go, which gives Mouton(+1), who read and scraped(!) immediately, the opportunity to beat his block and keep Allen contained for no gain. ND will do this again later and Mouton will have the hell held out of him.
O39 3 7 Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Drag ? 5
No pressure but Montana doesn't want wait and dumps it short (cover +1). Ezeh(-0.5) runs it down but ends up overrunning the tackle(-1), but Mouton(+0.5) is there with a correct angle and he and Martin finish it short of the sticks.
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-7, 14 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O20 1 10 Ace 3-3-5 stack Run Inside zone Martin 0
Martin(+1) momentarily doubled and pushed back but comes through the double as the G pops out on Ezeh, finding himself in the hole. Herron(+1) fills the cutback lane and an unblocked Mouton(+0.5) can track and tackle.
O20 2 10 Ace 3-3-5 stack Pass ? Waggle TE cross Gordon 17
Play action fake does suck Mouton(-1) in, opening up this window but CGordon(+1) reads it and comes up to pound Eifert as he catches the ball (cover +1); kid still manages to haul in a great catch. Credit where due there.
O37 1 10 Ace Twins 3-3-5 stack Run Inside zone Herron 8
I think. Michigan's line again blows this up with Roh(+0.5) absorbing a double and Mouton(+1) immediately scraping through the mess to pop up unblocked in the hole, forcing Wood to improvise. Ezeh comes through a block but can't make a tackle; he does delay but Herron(-1) has been passive and ate a lineman and is blasted out of the play. CGordon(-1) should be able to fill quickly here given all the traffic but is seriously late.
O45 2 2 Ace Twins 3-3-5 stack Run Pin and pull zone Ezeh -3
Ezeh(+2) zips right into the slot vacated by the lineman pulling around RVB's guy and makes an excellent tackle(+1) in the backfield.
O42 3 5 Shotgun 2TE 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Improv Roh Inc
Roh(+1) disrupts Montana by spinning past the OT and forcing the RB to cut him but not before there's a bunch of players in Montana's feet. I also think Floyd(+1) had the short out covered to that side. Montana scrambles and attempts to find a receiver at the sidelines but CGordon(+1) is there to break it up; pass was OOB anyway. (Cover +2, pressure +1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-7, 10 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run Dive Patterson 12
Patterson in for Martin for the first time and ND goes right at him, blocking down on him and pulling a G around to hit it up in the crease between RVB and Patterson. Ezeh meets the G at the LOS, funneling the RB back to his help but Mouton(-1) is late arriving and whiffs a diving tackle(-1). Patterson gets a -1 as well for making this hole big enough for Allen to have room behind Ezeh and his blocker.
O37 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run Inside zone Mouton 11
This time Patterson(+1) slants into the intended rushing lane, forcing a cutback. Banks is on the backside and forces Allen upfield, as does Floyd, allowing Mouton(-2) to attack the guy behind the LOS; he whiffs the tackle(-1) and Banks stumbles in an attempt to clean up, turning -2 yards into 10. Kind of play we haven't seen from M backs this year.
O48 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 4 Deep hitch Floyd Int
Pressure is not immediate but not terrible either, as Roh comes free and Montana has to wing it, which he does to Floyd just as the other Floyd(+3) is sinking back from his cover two into Floyd's route, picking off the pass. (Cover +2) Replay.
Drive Notes: Interception, 14-7, 6 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O29 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Rollout TE out ? 9
Outside receivers clear the zone guys out and Montana throws underneath to Rudolph; would like T Gordon to react a little quicker but this is taking advantage of the coverage call (cover -1).
O38 2 1 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run Stretch counter Mouton 8
Little chance they'll stop this second and two play so okay, but as M slants to the opposite side of the play ND pulls around a G; I don't think Mouton(-1) reads this quickly enough. He steps up, giving Stewart an angle to block him. This makes Ezeh popping the pulling guard to force the RB back inside help fruitless because Mouton's gone. Kovacs flows from the weakside to tackle. This looks like a stretch from the action if you're reading the RB, but the pulling G should be an easy key for the direction of the play.
O46 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide bunch 3-3-5 stack Pass 4 TE Out T. Gordon 6
The quick out again; with no hard corner or cover two this is pretty easy (cover -1).
M48 2 4 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run Inside zone counter Mouton 1
Huh. I think Chris Stewart might tip his pulls. He's rocked really far back here. This is similar to the stretch counter except it looks like an inside zone and then Stewart pulls around as they try to hit it into the backside A gap. This time both linebackers are there to fill, with Ezeh(+1) taking on Stewart and funneling to Mouton(+1), who delivers a thumping tackle(+1).
M47 3 3 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Rollout TE out T. Gordon Inc
Same thing as the first play on the drive; this time TGordon(+1) is coming up hard and will tackle short of the sticks even if complete; this throw is behind Rudolph and dropped. (Cover +1.)
Drive Notes: Punt, 3 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O20 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Hitch T. Gordon 7
Michigan in three deep, bailing out on the corners. TGordon(-0.5) has this area of the field but chooses to chuck the inside receiver, which delays him in his effort to get outside. (Cover –1.)
O27 2 3 Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Deep out Rogers 13
Way too easy on the outside as Rogers(-1) bails out into a deep third and turns his hips all the way to run downfield, opening this out up. T. Gordon also did not get enough depth on his drop, IMO. (Cover -1, pressure –1.)
O40 1 10 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Tunnel screen Roh Inc
Martin backing out after an initial rush as Roh comes on a delayed blitz outside; this is a tunnel screen that would be completely dead if caught. Fortunately for ND it's not. (RPS+1)
O40 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Improv Rogers Inc
Montana can't find anyone for a long time (cover +1) and Martin(+0.5) eventually comes through the Irish OL, forcing a scramble. Montana throws high to a WR near the sticks; Rogers(+0.5) is close enough to disrupt the pass and cause to to fall incomplete.
O40 3 10 Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 stack Run QB draw Mouton 10 (pen -7)
Most of these yards are whatever because it's third and ten but Mouton(-1) got cut to the ground and opened up first down yardage; it comes back because Floyd was holding the hell out of Floyd.
O33 3 17 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Run NA Shovel pass Mouton 9 + 15 pen
A give up and punt that turns into a first down because Mouton(-2) gets flagged for a horsecollar tackle. I'm not sure what he's supposed to do there when he can reach out and grab the guy, but it was dumb since Allen was heading to the sidelines and Kovacs was filling.
M43 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 4 Rollout deep hitch T. Gordon Inc
Montana goes back and can't find anyone, rolling out with a small case of happy feet. He fires one to Floyd; T. Gordon(+0.5) is there and hassles him so that the overthrown ball can't be brought in. Could have done better but was not useless. (Cover +1)
M43 2 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 4 Scramble Martin 3
ND holding the hell out of everyone, but Michigan guys are fighting through it so the flags stay in the pockets. Very frustrating. Martin(+1) fights through, flushing Montana up in the pocket; Roh should have him for a sack but Montana manages to run through it(tackling -1) and rolls out. No one open(cover +1), he scrambles for a few. (Pressure +1)
M40 3 7 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Fly C. Gordon 37
Sagesse, Patterson, and RVB are rushing? come on (pressure -1). Montana chucks up a punt that somehow finds an open receiver at the three. This is on Rogers(-1) who has no one at all in front of him and does not keep dropping with the wide receiver, and Cam Gordon(-3), who abandons his responsibility to split the two receivers. Instead he starts running after Floyd (cover –3).
M3 1 G Shotgun empty 3-3-5 stack Pass 5 Tacopants! Roh Inc
Zone blitz, NT drops off. Mouton gets a free run as a result, with Roh(+0.5) fighting through a cut and staying on his feet so Montana feels he has two guys coming and must chuck it, which he does? out of the end zone. (RPS +1, pressure +1) Receivers did seem covered.
Drive Notes: EOH, 21-7. This really was a gift drive with the horsecollar and Gordon Screwup #1.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O47 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 4 Deep hitch Kovacs Inc
Looks like four verticals to me. Four man rush gets nowhere (pressure -1) and Kovacs(-1) does not get over to cover the hitch on the outside, leaving a window for Crist, albeit a small one. He puts it a little in front of Floyd, making it a tough catch, and it's dropped. (Cover -1, but not that bad.)
O47 2 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 5 Fly C. Gordon 53
Michigan in a two deep so Gordon has half the field on deep passes. 1) I think Rogers(-1) attacks Rudolph's little dink route, opening up a ton of space with just Gordon in it, and 2) Gordon(-5) takes a horrible angle on the pass, possibly misjudging it and thinking it's going to a route in front of him. A proper angle would have seen Gordon crush the receiver on an underthrown pass. (Cover -4)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-14, 12 min 3rd Q. I swear I'm writing these descriptions before Maycock does his analysis.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O27 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 stack Run Edge pitch Floyd 29
This is doomed from the start since Kovacs(RPS -2) is blitzing right from the spot on the field where some contain might be. Mouton(-0.5) gets bashed inside but keeps his feet and moves to recover; as Allen nears the first down marker Ezeh(-1) and Floyd(-1) somehow conspire to miss tackles(-1) on him, then a crappy angle from Gordon(-1) and a missed tackle(-1) looks like it spring Allen to the endzone but Gordon did just barely manage to get him to step out of bounds.
M44 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Improv hitch Floyd 17
Time to survey but no one open (cover +1) and Martin(+0.5) fights through blocks and another seeming hold to flush Crist; could have had a sack maybe without the hold. Crist finds Floyd in front of Floyd(-1, cover -1), who's too far away to even tackle afterwards, and Floyd starts cutting back across the field, breaking a tackle from T. Gordon(-1, tackling -1) and getting inside the 30.
M27 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Run TGDCD Mouton 10
Come back late but Mouton(-1) looks like he's sucked out of position, Ezeh(-1) too; Kovacs(+0.5) fills quickly and funnels Gray to help.
M17 1 10 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 stack Pass 4 Slant ? 11
Again with the short drop and the blitzing, but pulling that guy out of the center of the field has opened up a huge, obvious space for Crist to hit Floyd in. (RPS-1, cover -1)
M6 1 G Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run Dive Roh -1
Pulling around the C and trying to go straight up the middle; M sends the house, with Roh(+0.5) blitzing right into the gap, allowing T. Gordon(+1) to come from the backside and tackle. (RPS+1)
M7 2 G Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 TE cross ? Inc
Forever to pass as Michigan rushes three and it takes a while for RVB to work free. (Pressure -1). Nowhere to throw, though, and Crist ends up trying a super tough pass at the back of the endzone to Rudolph, extremely well covered by Ezeh(+1) and hit out by Gordon(+0.5, cover +2).
M7 3 G Shotgun empty 3-3-5 stack Pass 4 TE out Mouton Inc
Zone blitz sees Martin and Ezeh drop out of the middle and gives Mouton(+0.5) a free run (pressure +1, RPS+1), which forces Crist to throw early and high in an attempt to get Rudolph one on one with Kovacs(+1), who was in good enough position to stab over the top in case the ball was more accurate (cover +1)
Drive Notes: FG(24), 21-17, 8 min 3rd Q. Biiiiiig stand there after getting gashed all the way down the field, and one on which GERG RPSed ND two or three times.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O22 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 TE deep cross Mouton Int
Three man rush yields a ton of time but nothing downfield (cover +1) and eventually RVB comes free, chasing Crist from the pocket. He rolls and tries to chuck it very deep to Rudolph, but it's on a line and Mouton(+2, cover +1) bats it into the air, where Kovacs(+1) picks it off and returns it. The three man line may be frustrating but it seems to work. Would work better if Roh could play DE.
Drive Notes: Interception, 21-17, 4 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O4 1 10 I-Form Big 3-3-5 stack Run Power off tackle Mouton 9
Both linebackers are to blame here, IMO, as they have to realize that the down blocks and the pull indicate a power off tackle is coming, but both of them shoot up into the play, with Mouton taking out a lead blocker and Ezeh unable to scrape outside in time because: there's no leverage on the ball. Floyd is in a ton of space and forces the RB inside, where he makes a good open field tackle(+1) with help from a recovering Ezeh. -1 Ezeh, -1 Mouton. Also, Kovacs gets a -1 for getting blasted all the way across the formation.
O13 2 1 I-Form Big 3-3-5 stack Run Power off tackle Asshat linejudge 12
This time Mouton does scrape to the outside, where he gets held like a mofo without a call. I mean, the guy's hands are literally on his back: both of them. I hate these refs. You're supposed to be on our side, idiots. As a result he can't contain and Allen has a big gainer. I'm not minusing anyone here except asshat linejudge(-2).
O25 1 10 Ace Twins 3-3-5 stack Run Inside zone Mouton 3
Martin(+0.5) slashes through the line and Ezeh(+0.5) quickly darts into the gap behind the Martin mess and the LB getting out to the second level; unfortunately Allen splits the tackle(-1) from both. Mouton(+1) sheds a block to pound the guy after three yards, though.
O28 2 7 Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 5 Sack T. Gordon -11
Sending five gets T. Gordon(+2) a free run (pressure +1, RPS+1) because of what looks like a blown pickup by Allen; Gordon does a great job of not letting Crist dodge him, tossing him to the ground for M's only sack of the year.
O17 3 18 Shtogun 4-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Dumpoff ? 13
No pressure (-1) on a three man rush, with Roh getting pancaked on an unsuccessful spin, though ND does have two guys for every rusher. Coverage(+1) is good enough to force the dump, and Gray is gang-tackled well short. The thing about Roh's spin is it could totally work if someone was occupying the guard.
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-17, 1 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O24 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 stack Run Edge pitch Banks 5
Allen fumbles the pitch and should be nailed for a loss but Banks(-1) overruns the play and lets Allen inside, where Gordon(+0.5) forms up and tackles by getting run over.
O29 2 5 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 stack Pass 4 Seam Kovacs 20
Kovacs(-2) sucks up for no apparent reason, opening up tons of room for Rudolph; Mouton(-1) also drops too far inside, closer to Ezeh's zone than he needs be. Rudolph is wide open, picking up big yards despite falling down without being touched. (Cover -3)
O49 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run Jet sweep Banks 0
Watch Roh get cut: that's worse than the clip they threw on Dorrestein. No call. Meanwhile, Martin(+1) is again through the line and gets yanked backwards; no call. It doesn't end up mattering because Banks(+1) first holds up to a double and then comes through it, allowing Ezeh(+1) to flow to the ball unimpeded; combined the pair tackles.
O49 2 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 6 Skinny post ? Inc
This is open(cover -1) but Crist throws it well behind Rudolph, apparently expecting him to sit down on a hitch.
O49 3 10 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 stack Pass 4 Dig Kovacs Inc
Blitz picked up as DEs drop into short zones, for what good that does on third and ten. (Pressure -1.) RVB actually gets pretty good depth and might be useful as Crist fires in between three defenders on a dig that will probably get the first; Floyd drops it. Kovacs was pretty close, FWIW. Great throw by Crist on replay with RVB in postion to bat/intercept anything a fraction late.
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-17, 9 min 4th Q. This one is more on ND than M.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O14 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Corner Van Bergen Inc
This is overthrown by about ten yards despite being somewhat open because RVB(+1.5) plowed through the RT and hit Crist as he threw, aborting his follow-through. (Pressure +1) It is really hard to hand out appropriate numbers with this quantity of three-man rushes.
O14 2 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 6 ? ? Inc
Blitz is picked up but Crist still has to get rid of it; ends up throwing it to no one. I think he's trying to hit Rudolph on a short crossing route or something but Rudolph fell down trying to cut. RVB(+0.5) drove into the pocket and appeared to get a finger on it, too.
O14 3 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 TE seam Inc
Three man rush but RVB(+0.5) is driving into the backfield well enough that Crist feels he should throw it; he chucks it to a well covered Rudolph (Mouton +1, cover +1) and overthrows it badly.
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-17, 5 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O9 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Scramble Van Bergen 5 (pen -4)
RVB(+1) gets upfield and bats at the ball, causing Crist to bring it down; Roh(+1) spins into the middle of everything and could have sack but is held—which they call! Omg. The five yard scramble afterwards is academic (pressure +1)
O5 1 15 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Ooops C. Gordon 95
No pressure(-2) and Cam Gordon takes the world's worst angle (-6, cover -5), turning a knockdown into temporary doom.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-24, 3 min 4th Q. Last drive not charted since it is under extreme conditions. Last play clipped, though.

So was that good or not?

I really don't know. Breaking down Notre Dame's 17 drives:

  • 1 uncharted desperation drive on which they got 32 yards of offense and 15 penalty yards.
  • 1 depressingly slick Crist-led TD drive
  • 1 depressingly slick Crist-led FG drive
  • 2 enormous Cam Gordon bust TDs, 1 enormous Cam Gordon bust we got away with
  • 7 drives led by incompetent backup QBs that max out around 20 yards and feature two INTs.
  • 5 stops of the Crist-led O in the second half when the game was in the balance, including another INT

Breaking down ND's 535 yards:

  • 50-ish: given away on end of half drives.
  • 200-ish: Cam Gordon
  • 280-ish: the sum total of the other 14 possessions.

Before the Rudolph bomb, Crist's second half stats were 5/14 for 121 yards, a TD, and an INT. To me that looks like ten guys doing a really good job and a freshman position switch safety "learning on the job" or "making me think about every safety except Jamar Adams in the last decade of Michigan football." I don't know, let's look at the—



So this one is really weird. Keep in mind that 1) Cam Gordon wsg James Rogers got a total of –16 personally and –12 to cover on the three comically open bombs, 2) Notre Dame had sixteen(!) drives charted, fully double the UConn game, and 3) Michigan picked off three balls.


Defensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Van Bergen 4.5 3 1.5 Unproductive until late; irresponsible on midline zone read.
Martin 12 0.5 11.5 Beast mode. Best game of career.
Banks 1 1 1 Getting zero production out of this spot.
Sagesse - - 0 Srsly.
Patterson 1 1 0 Eh.
Black - - - DNP
TOTAL 18.5 5.5 13 Should count about half of Roh's production here.
Player + - T Notes
Ezeh 7.5 4.5 3 Positive!
Mouton 14.5 12.5 2 Some of the negatives are a little harsh, like the horsecollar. Vastly improved.
Roh 11 - 11 Beast mode part II. By far best game of his career.
Johnson - - - DNP.
T. Gordon 6.5 1.5 5 Great job on the sack; solid elsewhere.
Leach - - 0 Some time at spur.
Moundros - - - DNP
Herron 2 1 1 Allowed Roh to play DE until injury, did okay.
TOTAL 40.5 19.5 21 Even throwing most of Roh's points to DE this is a very encouraging number.
Player + - T Notes
Floyd 5 2.5 2.5 INT and little he could be blamed for.
Rogers 1.5 4 -2.5 Missed tackles and somewhat responsible for two of the Gordon bombs.
Kovacs 6 6 0 Certainly not a liability.
C. Gordon 5 16 -11 You know the story.
Talbott - - - Garbage time.
Christian - - - Garbage time.
M. Robinson - - - DNP on D.
Ray Vinopal - - - Got in a play.
TOTAL 17.5 28.5 -11 Even and then Gordon.
Pressure 14 9 5 More on this in the three man rush section.
Coverage 22 24 -2 Also three man rush.
Tackling 5 7 -2

First negative day ever, though this hasn't been around that long.

RPS 7 5 2 GERG win.

[A reminder: RPS is "rock, paper, scissors." Michigan gets a + when they call a play that makes it very easy for them to defend the opponent, like getting a free blitzer. They get a – when they call a play that makes it very difficult for them to defend the opponent, like showing a seven-man blitz and having Penn State get easy touchdowns twice.]

There's a lot to like above: Roh and Martin both turned in the best days of their careers, and Martin's performance is even more impressive since he spent all day as  a nose against two or three blockers. This is what happened every time ND tried to single up either guy:

NFW, man. I mean, watch Martin just tear through guys:

He's made a personal leap from good to great. Roh, meanwhile, is a different player:

Meanwhile, Ezeh and Mouton both climbed above zero; I can't recall the last time that happened. The coverage has not been terrible except when it's really terrible; ND QBs were checking down all day. Eight man coverages, sure, but even with time ND was not picking it apart except when Gordon was letting them.

I hate three-man rushes. They make me want to die. GERG loves them. WTF?

I tried to parse this out but my numbers don't make sense after I did this so a rougher breakdown below.

Six man rush:

  • Two snaps, no completions.

Five man rush:

  • Four snaps.
  • Thomas Gordon sack.
  • 53-yard Cam Gordon screwup bomb.

Four man rush:

  • 13 snaps.
  • One INT, two scrambles.
  • Nothing deep.

Three man rush:

  • 23 snaps.
  • Two INT, one scramble
  • 95-yard Cam Gordon screwup
  • 37-yard Cam Gordon screwup
  • 68 other yards on 21 snaps.

I think that's off a bit but it is close. So… Michigan didn't exactly crumble in the three-man rush. They got two interceptions out of it, one of them the Crist one, and I only have them down for eight non-screen completions.

The theory behind this appears to be the same theory that saw a lot of three-man rushes last year: our defense is pretty crappy but we have this beast on the DL so he can probably get through anyway and then the QB has nowhere to go. Last year that was Brandon Graham; this year it was going to be a combo of Martin and Roh until Herron got hurt and Roh had to move back to LB. And as you can see by the numbers above, it pretty much worked. Do you put the blame for the bombs on the rush or Cam Gordon? Probably some of both.

GERG Robinson linebacker fairy dust update?

Looking even better after a fairly strong week one. The linebackers still got lost some but not egregiously so and usually bounced back the next time Kelly tried the same play. Ezeh had a relatively quiet day for a middle linebacker and finished slightly positive; Mouton had an uber-Mouton day with a ton of positives and a ton of negatives that also finished slightly positive. This is massive progress from last year even if you don't count Thomas Gordon putting in a Brown-like number, the most active day Brandon Herron's had, and Craig Roh blowing up.

The linebackers have come farther in two weeks under GERG than they did in two years under Hopson. I mean… you're kind of worried about losing Mouton next year, right? Exactly. NFL guys are noticing, too:

Jonas Mouton/LB/Michigan: The Wolverines are off to a fast start at 2-0 and Mouton has been the teams's top defender in both games. He led the unit with 13 tackles in the exciting win over Notre Dame besides intercepting a pass early in the game, which Michigan converted into a touchdown. Mouton is an explosive linebacker who effortlessly moves sideline-to-sideline. He added 15 pounds of muscle this season yet did not lose a step of speed.

The GERG Fairy Dust Theory looks like a winner so far.

So… free safety is doom again?

I don't know. By this time last year I was ready to see Boubacar Cissoko exiled to the punt team permanently, but Gordon at least brings something to the table. He's filled run lanes well for the most part and brings the wood when he tackles; he seem athletic enough to cope at free safety. But four major gaffes in two weeks is concerning.

There is reason he will improve, and quickly. He's just a redshirt freshman and spent his first semester at WR. Michigan's offense is almost allergic to deep balls, so he may not have much experience with balls going over his head. His learning curve can be quick and meaningful. On the other hand, he's actually got to make that improvement, something we've seen every Michigan safety since Marcus Ray emphatically not do. With the second and third string options gone the last remaining backup safety is two-star true freshman Ray Vinopal: we are likely stuck with Gordon. I have no idea whether he'll improve enough to be un-noticeable.

Asshat linejudge?


Michigan got called for clips on plays that Notre Dame did not get called for clips. They bear-hugged Martin and RVB all day. Kelvin Grady got a call for missing a cut block. The officiating was so slanted that Notre Dame fans aren't even complaining. Attention Big Ten refs: we're Michigan. You're supposed to be on our side.


Mike Martin and Craig Roh, with a high five to JT Floyd and Thomas Gordon.


Cam Gordon is the blazingly obvious one, but once Michigan had to pull Roh off the line they got nothing out of that DE spot except a decent play on a run by Banks. Getting a 1-1-0 out of a DE spot in a half of play is very subpar. Those guys cannot get to the QB at all. RVB also had a mediocre day, but did come on late.

What does it mean for UMass and beyond?

Overall, I'm actually encouraged. Michigan basically shut down an incompetent quarterback with a lot of skill position talent in the first half; this should be good enough in a lot of games this year. The QB might not be as terrible but the skill players won't be as good. When Crist was in, the defense was a solid B+ except for the Cam Gordon errors. When he was not handing ND points they scored ten points on seven drives and picked up an interception.

They seem better than last year. More than that, they seem better than we thought they'd be going into the season. Mouton is outperforming expectations. Ezeh is. Roh is. JT Floyd is. Kovacs is fine. Martin is living up to BEAST MODE expectations. The only disappointments are the DEs and Cam Gordon. I'll take that.

If they stay healthy—they are beyond paper thin—and Gordon can reduce his gaffe rate to an acceptable level they can be totally mediocre. Look for a permanent move to DE for Roh against spread teams if Herron comes back, which will make that line hard to block.



September 15th, 2010 at 4:08 PM ^

"Before the Rudolph bomb, Crist's second half stats were 5/14 for 121 yards, a TD, and an INT. To me that looks like ten guys doing a really good job and a freshman position switch safety "learning on the job" or "making me think about every safety except Jamar Adams in the last decade of Michigan football.""

Or a quarterback with scrambled eggs for brains.


September 15th, 2010 at 4:11 PM ^

It's only 2 games but this years D is definitely better than the last two years. It seems comparable to the last several years of Carr: slow teams down, get a few TOs. Some games will be like this and then suddenly well give up a big play with a 3 man rush.
<br>My concern is the TOs. The ball has bounced our way a few times this year (deservedly so after the last 2 years) but if Denard keeps fumbling like he has been our D will be under more 2008/2009 pressure in crappier field position.


September 15th, 2010 at 4:32 PM ^

What do you mean "keeps fumbling like he has been"?  He put the ball on the ground once in 57 carries so far and, in case you weren't paying attention, we recovered the fumble.  You make it sound like he's fumbling it every other carry.


September 15th, 2010 at 4:45 PM ^

The last several years of Carr?!?!  Do you even remember those defenses?  Yes, safety play was always dodgy, but those were still some damn strong defenses.  2006 was particularly strong.  This defense is better than we thought it might be (through  two games against (1) a Big East team and (2) a team led by a back-up qb and a QB suffering a concussion. 

Cause for optimism - yes.  As good as our defenses of a few years ago?  Not so much.


September 15th, 2010 at 7:15 PM ^

The 2006 defense held U-S-Freakin'-C to THREE yards rushing in the first half of the Rose Bowl.  That USC offense had 5 first or second round NFL players on that unit. Carroll went "wow" and decided  to pass it 99% of the time in the 2nd half.

GERG's defenses have a long way to go before they are anywhere near as good as the defenses from 2005-2007.


September 16th, 2010 at 6:47 AM ^

2006 was the best year since 1997 in my opinion.  I looked it up and they were better than I remember. I guess the last few games are what stuck out in my mind:

26 to Ball State (offensive troubles and 2nd string D were mostly to blame)

42 to OSU

32 to USC

We did well in preseason and BIg Ten (until OSU) but I remember feeling like that year was a bit of luck to catch the rest of the Big Ten in a down year.  However, they were impressive.  I don't think we are close to this but the other years near the end of Carr were not imipressive defenses.

Foote Fetish

September 15th, 2010 at 4:15 PM ^

To me, this is the most encouraging part:  "5 stops of the Crist-led O in the second half when the game was in the balance, including another INT"

When the game was on the line and the offense was stalled (by near constant penalties of questionable validity, but I digress) the defense was able to keep everything under control.  I thought for sure when Crist came back that I was probably going to have to break something in my home.  Luckily that turned out not to be the case.

House intact.  Carry on.


September 15th, 2010 at 7:42 PM ^

That's what has given me more hope about this season.  It's Rich's "we're not good enough to play badly and win" has changed to..."well, we can play badly, in some areas, and still win, some of the time". I wouldn't want to make a regular diet of it, but there seems to be less downhill snowballing this year. So far.


September 15th, 2010 at 4:18 PM ^

One thing that stood out to me was that Ezeh really fought through pulling guards all game long. Usually he weakly accepts it but he really fought through and forced plays back inside to his help and allowed guys to clean up. if Ezeh can keep up this type of performance all year long that will go a long way to making us a solid "mediocre" defense.

Deep Under Cover

September 15th, 2010 at 4:30 PM ^

I have to say, I am a little surprised Christian doesn't get some sort of knock after that bonehead play he made on the sideline towards the end of the game (that was him, wasn't it?).  My brother tried to yell that it was a BS call, but the guy was clearly going out.... If you were closer and could wrestle him to stay in bounds that is one thing, but why dive??

Tha Quiet Storm

September 15th, 2010 at 4:41 PM ^

I'm not going to dispute the fact that Cam Gordon had a really rough outing, but from my point of view as a complete amateur football enthusiast with no coaching background, I thought that he got kind of hung out to dry on the T.J. Jones TD (touchback).  The corner (Rogers if I recall correctly) came up to cover the flat, leaving Gordon to try and cover two guys.  I suppose the safety should cover the deeper man, but watching the play it looked like Gordon was stuck in the middle trying to figure out what to do.  It was a bad play, but I don't think it was nearly as egregious of an error as the Rudolph TD.


September 15th, 2010 at 5:06 PM ^

I also feel that he's getting a little too much flack for big gainer at the end of the 1st half. Brian mentions that he split 2 receivers and from I remember, he had to because the other safety(?) let Floyd blow by him. I would rather have Cam slide to Floyd and leave the other guy open. It's a pick your poison type of play.

Blue in Seattle

September 15th, 2010 at 5:31 PM ^

the UFR is harshest on the secondary.  The safety has no one else to blame, so it is what it is.

What I would like someone's opinion on who has some coaching experience is on the ability of a team to attach a blitz happy defense, which clearly we are not showing.

Just like the Offense can setup a big play by running a low gaining setup play, I think if you start to blitz to cover up your lack of experience in the secondary just leads to the QB throwing to the weakness left behind in the wake of the blitz.

Playing zone fundamentally takes away free bodies that can rush the passer. Formations that spread the defense do the same thing.

As long as the QB doesn't get more than 6 seconds and/or doesn't have a huge gain, I'm happy with the rush of only two people and Hulk.


September 15th, 2010 at 4:43 PM ^

From 10,000 feet it looks like GERG can coach a good college defense.  That must be  very reassuring to RichRod.

Brian gives them a B+ except for C Gordon?  Wow!                B+    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!     :)

That B+ may be harder for this D to earn than for a Sophomore Engineer in  Physics class.

Kudos also to Coach Tony Gipson...now to coach up C. Gordon! 

Gordon's modus operandi should be to crush the receiver when the ball arrives.


September 15th, 2010 at 4:49 PM ^

On the end of half long pass he cheated on his responsibility to chase Floyd and it cost him.  Bad, but I feel that was a end of half breakdown more than something systematic.

On both the long passes he whiffed on, he played the ball and not the man.  That's not angle or bad coverage so much as making an awful choice.  In addition, the bad angles Stevie Brown took were commonly when the ball was on the ground being run towards him.  Cam has been excellent thus far in filling and moving forward.

I think this is very curable going forward, and Cam will be a pretty competent safety for the team all year.


September 15th, 2010 at 5:55 PM ^

I think he's liable for a couple more serious gaffes before the season is over, but by and large I agree with you. Gotta remember this a a redshirt freshman position switch in his second game we're talking about!


September 15th, 2010 at 4:55 PM ^

I legitimately saw that from section 23 row 39 seat 7. These refs were abysmal. I actually had a ND fan text me a pic he took of his tv of a "hold" during Denard's long TD run. I promptly sent him Dr. Saturday's post of ND's DeSean Jackson impression.


September 15th, 2010 at 5:09 PM ^

Did I see a -6 in there?  Wow, Brian, you've gotten a lot more willing to hand out points.  Has there ever been a score lower than -3 for a single player on a single play before?  I'm not complaining -- it's your UFR; make the scale whatever you want it to be.  Just an observation.


September 15th, 2010 at 6:38 PM ^

This just seems completely unfair to me.  If a deep safety is getting beat one on one and we're not bringing the house that's also on GERG and our cb's, not to mention getting zero pass rush.  The the 95 yard TD for example it seemed like our rush was overly aggressive and Crist was able to simply step up to make the play.

It's not like our  MLB's last year year in the Iowa who just seemed to forget to cover the TE's for a few wide open touchdowns and maybe deserved -5's. I don't think Gordon deserved more than a -3 on either of those plays. 

And what Gordon have to do to get a +6?  It's got to be possible if you are giving out minus sixes.  Maybe hurdle the entire line, concuss the QB, pop the ball into the air, grab it and stiff arm a few guys as he lunges for the touchdown and barely reaches the pile on?

I realize the secondary is the last line of defense but there's got to be equal opportunity for them to make positive plays as well (even if they are less frequent). 


September 15th, 2010 at 8:18 PM ^

You can only be so awesome on defense, but you can be pretty damn bad.

Perhaps if a player split a triple team, forced a fumble, picked it up, brilliantly lateraled it to a teammate so he could take out two players as a blocker, had the teammate fumble, picked the ball up (AGAIN!) and then stiffarmed Woody Hayes as he beat Charlie Weis in a hot dog eating contest and avoided getting spit on by Lou Holtz on the way to the endzone at the end of the game, that would deserve a +6.


September 15th, 2010 at 8:35 PM ^

So how excessively bad can one guy be on one play? Maybe a 15 yarder and ejection to be assessed on the Kickoff??  I mean, if complete blown coverage and a TD is a -6, then making a play single handedly (INT stolen from the receiver, not thrown right to you) returning it for a TD should be equal. +6.  


September 15th, 2010 at 9:02 PM ^

a -6 in the UFR with singlehandedly giving up six points to the other team?  This seems reasonable at first glance, but then that also implies each time a player gives up a -3, he's given up a field goal.  Which, depending on field position, perhaps he has, but it's not necessarily that straightforward.  I guess if you want to attribute the yards gained by an offense to a particular defender's mistake on that play, and then use the difference in Mathlete-style expected value for points scored by the offense as a function of field position to assign a minus, you could make it more rigorous.  But that seems way excessive for a UFR, and probably doesn't add much value over what the subjective point assigments already provide.

Now, does a -6 mean the player's screwup was 6 times worse than a -1, in some ill-defined sense?  Maybe.  And certainly, if anything ever qualifies for a -6, it's giving up a 95 yard touchdown to a QB passing out of his own end zone.  But I think the larger point, that if you can earn a -6, you should also be able to earn a +6, seems fair, even if both are ultimately subjective.


September 15th, 2010 at 11:32 PM ^

There's a difference between something being totally your fault, something being mostly your fault, and something being totally your fault on top of being not just your fault but your fault in a way that's really awful play, and also in a situation where your defense is in good shape. I dunno. I didn't have a problem with it.


September 15th, 2010 at 9:18 PM ^

I wonder what the highest + has ever been handed out,in general and on offense. I wonder if that's in jeopardy when reviewing that 87-yard TD dash

And, I agree with mejunglechop......I wouldnt have batted an eye at -10......i mean he should have extra style points deducted alone for his bad Timmy Lupus impersonation as he twirled around trying to defend it.


September 15th, 2010 at 5:13 PM ^

Ha.  Never seen you comment so much on poor reffing.  Thank god it didn't matter.  These guys were graduates of the John Gravallese School for Refs Who Can't Ref Good.

Also, We want Shegoes!  clap clap clapclapclap